Top-flight Spanish football is back this weekend, as Eibar hosts Barcelona at Estadio Municipal de Ipurua on Saturday afternoon.
Barcelona will be looking to register their fifth consecutive win across all competitions when they face 14th-placed Eibar, tomorrow at 13:00 (CET).
The Blaugrana boys have the chance to go top, at least for a couple of hours, as they sit two points behind league leaders Real Madrid, who visit Mallorca later in the night.
Eibar is also heading into the game in good form, having collected eight points from their last four La Liga outings. A win against the reigning champions could see them go as high as eight on the league table.
Eibar are likely to be without their captain Ivan Ramis and Rober Correa, who is still recovering from an injury to his left ankle.
Escalante is suspended for the hosts after being sent off in the 91st minute of the 1-1 draw against Betis.
— SD Eibar 🇺🇸🇬🇧 (@SDEibarEN) October 14, 2019
On the other had, Barcelona has three suspended players for the game – Gerard Pique due to accumulated yellow cards, as well as Ousmane Dembele and Ronald Araujo, as both saw red in the 4-0 win vs Sevilla.
Samuel Umtiti also remains on the sidelines, while Jordi Alba is ready for a return in the starting line-up.
Talk to the press
Barcelona captain Lionel Messi says he is hungry for more trophies on a club level, as he especially dreams about another Champions League title.
“I dream about winning more trophies on a collective level. To win another Champions League. That is the challenge we have, adding another Champions League to the trophy cabinet,” Leo said via Barcelona’s official website.
“I always say at that individual prizes are not my objective. The Best, or the Ballon d’Or or the Golden Shoe and less the goal of the year. If you get them, great: if not, no problem.”
“Now I play a bit deeper to pick the ball up from the midfielders. I don’t know what will happen in the future with my position.”
FUN FACT: Messi has enough Golden Shoes for him and his two sons to each wear a pair, and take a walk around town. pic.twitter.com/vovswX0XAq
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) October 17, 2019
“You see yourself until when you can continue. I will find out as time goes by. I’ll be the first to say “I have made it to here, I can’t any more,” or if I feel good enough to carry on. As the years go by, I’ll find out.”
The two sides have come up against each other on ten occasions, as Barcelona won nine of them.
Their most recent encounter, however, ended in a 2-2 draw in the final round of the 2018-19 campaign.
Lionel Messi scored twice in that game, securing his record sixth European Golden Shoe, which was presented to him just a couple of days ago.
Eibar suffered a 2-1 defeat to Espanyol in their first home game this term, but won their next two games at Estadio Municipal de Ipurua, 3-2 against Sevilla and 2-0 versus Celta Vigo.
Barcelona, on the other hand, has won only once from five games on the road this season, netting a total of four goals in the process.
The Catalans, however, have the most effective attack in the league, with 20 goals in the opening eight La Liga rounds.